In the final episodes of Season 3 of The Vampire Diaries, things are ramping up in major ways and, as per usual with the popular show, everyone is in jeopardy. Love triangles will come to a resolution, heroes and villains will be tested, some big mythology moves will happen, and there’s likely to be tears.
During this recent interview to discuss where things are headed for the end of this season, executive producer/writer Julie Plec and co-stars Candice Accola, Michael Trevino and Zach Roerig talked about the extraordinary changes that the characters will be going through in their own emotional lives, personal lives, romantic lives and supernatural lives, along with what to expect from the finale. Julie Plec also shared that she and show co-creator Kevin Williamson already know how they would like the show to end, whenever that ends up being. Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers:
JULIE PLEC: Yeah, for sure. Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) whole struggle this year was him hanging on by such a very, very, very tenuous thread for the first half of the season, and then he lost his mind for a nice chunk in the middle, so he’s been terrified of opening himself back up and letting those feelings in. It’s been a slow permeation of his emotional life, over the latter section of the season. Seeing Elena (Nina Dobrev) at her most vulnerable, and needing to give her the support that she’s been trying to give him all season, he’s finally saying, “It is okay to feel. I heard you all those times, when you told me that. It’s okay to feel and it’s okay to have hope. I heard you. And now, let me give that back to you.” All of this is just illuminating for this girl, at this point in her life, with these two men who are so important to her. She has no one. She’s lost almost everyone that ever mattered to her. How do you choose, in a moment like that? The last two episodes of the season are really going to be about her really asking herself that question and trying to understand how she could possibly let one of them go, when she’s already lost so much.
With the new information that has been revealed about what’s gone on with Alaric (Matthew Davis) and his ring, what does that mean for Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen)?
PLEC: It definitely means that the stakes of death and resuscitation are possibly not as intense for Jeremy as they were Alaric because Alaric had something happening on the other side. But, there’s still always going to be a concern of consequences for cheating death, one too many times. It just might not come in the form of a Jekyll and Hyde alter-ego.
So, the ring will still be in play next season, then?
Will there be some deaths before the end of the season?
PLEC: There are going to be a lot of people where, at one point or another, you’re not going to be sure if they’re gonna make it to Season 4.
When does a character become so essential to the show that they’re unkillable?
PLEC: No one, ever, is unkillable.
MICHAEL TREVINO: When you’re #1, 2 or 3 on the callsheet, you’re okay. I’m just saying!
PLEC: Would I be so quick to write anybody’s death sentence? No. But, you have to have the risk that somebody can never be seen again, otherwise the death doesn’t matter. Do we like telling people goodbye forever? No. As you’ve seen, we’ve emotionally found a lot of different ways in our narrative to bring people back that we love, for better or for worse. For better, for us. But, this year is not without its emotional casualties. That’s the best way to say it.
PLEC: Yeah, for sure! She’s got a Katherine and god knows how many dopplegangers out there. I’m dying to tell the Elena with angel wings story for Season 17. I can’t wait for that! We’ll see where that goes.
Will Katherine come back this season?
PLEC: You will not see hide nor hair of Katherine until Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is gone for good. His survival ties into her appearance, or lack thereof.
Could you really kill Joseph Morgan off?
PLEC: It is logistically possible, yes. It would be very traumatic, but it is possible.
How much are you thinking about what these kids’ life plans are, once they’re finished with high school? Is there a Mystic U., around the corner?
PLEC: We’re still waiting for the official word on Season 4, but we’re feeling as confident as one can feel. We’ve already started talking about Season 4, which will take us through the rest of their final year in high school. As they’re all going through some pretty extraordinary changes in their own emotional lives, personal lives, romantic lives and supernatural lives, they’re making decisions about their future and what that will bring, and all those great things leading up to graduation and the choice of whether they will stay or go. And no, there will not be a Mystic U, although that would make a great crew hoodie for Christmas. But, Grams taught at a nearby university, and Jenna (Sara Canning) was getting her Master’s degree, so there’s something out there that we’ll be introducing and seeing in Season 4.
PLEC: Big time!
TREVINO: What we’ve seen with Tyler is that he’s biting his tongue, especially with this sire bond that he has broken from Klaus. But, enough is enough. In the last two episodes, you might see him actually take some action against Klaus and not follow his orders, when it comes to Caroline.
CANDICE ACCOLA: I just love getting asked about Caroline and Klaus because, even though Caroline has made so many mistakes and put her foot in her mouth and fallen for the bad guy, this is the first time where she’s staying true to her feelings and not getting caught up in the guy with the accent. She loves her high school boyfriend. But, in high school, when someone starts putting thoughts into your head about places to travel, semesters abroad, and all these experiences you’re going to have as you grow up and grow older, it’s hard not to think about them. The only way in which she’s wooed, in any way, by Klaus is the idea that there’s another world out there. But right now, in the present, she’s fighting like hell to just have a normal relationship with her boyfriend in high school. That’s all she wants.
ZACH ROERIG: I’m content being single, at this point. I’m happy being everyone’s ex-boyfriend.
Julie, when you’re writing these big, epic moments, is it harder to write in the smaller, quieter ones?
PLEC: Honestly, yeah, it’s totally hard. It’s what makes our job, week-to-week, so hard. Not to be like, “Oh, feel bad for us!,” but what makes our job so complicated is that we obviously have supernatural stakes, we’ve got the death toll list reaching 100, we’ve got danger in every act break and villains and people battling for life, and to rescue the love of their life, and in the midst of all that, we’re still intent on telling a very human story about very human people who live in a small town and go to a small high school, and who fall in and out of love, and deal with issues with their parents and friends, and questions of loyalty, friendship and family. The day that we lose sight of that is the day that we’ll have to take a step back and fix ourselves because that means that the balance has shifted too far to one side and we’re not doing what we’ve been meaning to do, all along.
Now that Jeremy is back, will he be stepping things up and become more of an adult?
PLEC: Should Jeremy be so lucky to survive Season 3 and be in Season 4, then yeah. It’s a big burden on him. He is the man of the house, proverbially. He and his sister are all that they have, so there’s a lot that he’s going to have to do to grow and keep himself together and be a champion for Elena, as she is always trying to be a champion for him.
What made you decide to have a flashback in the finale?
PLEC: The flashback in the finale is a small little runner that goes through the entire episode, as Elena is looking back on a part of her life when things were just more simple, at least from a supernatural level. That’s going to lead a lot of people to think, “Oh, they’re going to reveal something huge about the way that accident went down,” but I will still say what I said three years ago, which is, “That was an accident, period, end of story.” There was no supernatural influence. This episode isn’t about peeling back a layer of the mythology onion. We actually will get a little flash of something else that happened during that time, that we never even really considered, and it’s more of an emotional thing than it is a suspense thing.
How will Elena’s choice affect what will happen in Season 4?
Damon did kill Jeremy, so won’t Jeremy have some issues with him ever accepting his sister with Damon?
PLEC: If Jeremy had his way, the outcome would be, “I’d choose neither of you fuckers,” excuse my language. Jeremy, obviously, is very protective of his sister and would probably choose team Matt, if given the choice .
Where is the relationship between Elena and Matt at?
PLEC: Matt is one of the vestigial representatives of this life that was clean and simple for her. Their friendship dates back to when they were in the sandbox together. We get a nice little flash of what it was like when they were dating, but they were, themselves, a troubled relationship. Even though she’s remembering a simpler time, her problems were actually just as complicated. Should Matt be so lucky to survive Season 3 – which, who knows? – I think certainly, should Rebecca be so lucky to survive Season 3, there’s a little crush brewing there, on her side. Maybe there’s some story there to tell. Who knows?
What do you guys do, as actors, to attempt to prevent your character from being killed off?
TREVINO: Show up on time. Time is money.
ACCOLA: I’m a huge fan of television, myself and shows like Dexter, for instance, take those risks. We’re now in the third season. Whoever is not able to make it into the fourth season, it’s enough time where you’ve really gotten to be a part of something that, if you know it’s for the greater good, it’s okay. As a fan of television, as much as it would suck – pun intended – I get it.
ROERIG: It’s also hard to have a good time when you’re stressing, all the time, about what could possibly happen instead of enjoying the present. We have a blast! It’s an amazing job.
Where are things at for Klaus?
PLEC: He started this season, once he realized that the Original witch was screwing with him from the other side, he decided to pull his family together. Prior to that, he was going to build an army of hybrids. He has big plans for himself. Now that he realizes his mother will not stop coming after him, in some form or another, whether it’s her own self or she’s manipulating witches, this is a second call to arms for Klaus, who may have gotten a bit distracted by pretty blondes and paintings and horses. This is the reminder that he means business and he’s not going to let his guard down again. It’s a nice reboot of the villain.
What is Klaus’ ultimate goal?
PLEC: I have my theory on that, which is that he’s someone who wants purpose, and with purpose comes intent to do something for the love of someone and to not be alone. Building the army is to protect himself and those that he cares about. The problem is that his behavior tends to reject more than it magnetizes. When all is said and done, with all the bodies strewn across the battlefield, I think Klaus would just like a nice, pretty Caroline Forbes kind of girl to carry on through eternity with, knowing that they’ll be forever safe and untouched, no matter what strength the villain that comes at them. But, he’s a work in progress, that Klaus. He’s a messed up dude, for sure.
Can Klaus and Stefan ever actually be friends again?
PLEC: If Klaus is lucky enough to survive Season 3, I think there is an opportunity there, in the future, for those two to find their way back to each other because they did have a nice chemistry. At this point, Stefan has just rejected everything about his past self. The healthier he gets, as he moves forward, the more he’ll be able to let that go and open himself up to the grays of vampire life.
Will viewers get to see Elijah again this season?
Will Caroline continue to try to push Elena and Stefan back together?
ACCOLA: Caroline is such a Stelena worshipper. Also, Damon and Caroline don’t have the cleanest past of the bunch either. She just recognizes that Stefan is someone good for Elena, and she is rooting for her to open her eyes and give him a chance. I think Caroline, deep down, feels like, “He is the best for you. He is your one epic, true love. I’m not going to let you throw him away, just because you’re getting distracted by shiny Damon things.” But, I’ve already given a Dalena shout out on Twitter, so I feel like I’m covered from both ends.
Will viewers find out which bloodlines come from each Original, before the end of the season?
Is the sire bond between Tyler and Klaus really broken?
PLEC: After this next episode, it gets messy.
Is Dr. Fell (Torrey DeVitto) going to stay on the show?
PLEC: If Dr. Fell is lucky enough to survive Season 3, I think that every town needs a nice, pretty doctor. And, Damon might need a new drinking buddy. We’ve already established her as a day-drinker, so maybe there will be a nice friendship that could happen there. As a caretaker and as a compassionate human being, I do think that she and Elena will probably have a bond that could develop into a nice friendship, as well.
What can you say about Stefan and Damon’s relationship with each other, moving toward the end of the season?
PLEC: One of the things we set out to do, during this whole year, as Damon found himself more and more deeply in love with his brother’s girl, and all the things that came along with that, was to make sure that, when the brothers found their way back to each other, which happened about two-thirds of the way through the season, they would get stronger instead of weaker, as brothers, in spire of this looming conflict and decision. There’s a really nice scene that shows us that they might just survive this, no matter how it plays out. When all is said and done, bros before hoes. Not to entirely diminish the entire season. But, the cliche is that the girl tears them apart, so how can we let the girl bring them even closer together? That makes her decision even more difficult.
PLEC: When they’re acting against the best interest of our heroes, we like our villains to have a deep emotional core that lets us understand them a little bit, and understand their want and their why. When our villains have to work with our heroes for a shared agenda, we love our villains to be especially naughty and violent and bad because we love them in spite of their behavior. Klaus will never be a hero. That’s not to say that he will not do heroic things, in his journey. Next week, he has a fairly heroic moment that’s interesting, and then he does something so horrible that you’re like, “Man, what is wrong with you!” It’s just in the same way that Damon will never be a true good guy, and Stefan will never be a true hero, all the time. Life is more complicated than that.
Rebecca has been used by just about everybody. If she survives the season, will she get an ally that really is loyal to her?
PLEC: You should ask that question the day after the season finale.
Will this be an intense finale, or more of an emotional fall-out finale?
PLEC: Our story path kept us going at high-octane, all the way to the end. The penultimate episode is very, very adrenaline-infused. There are some big mythology moves that happen, and it’s a pretty big deal. The finale is definitely more emotional, but it is, by no means, the epilogue to the season. If anything, it’s half closing the door to one year, and then blowing the freaking lid of the door to the next.
Do you think the season finale will leave fans satisfied or wanting more?
PLEC: Both, and it depends on which fan.
Do you have an end-plan for how you want to end the show, whenever that time comes?
PLEC: Yeah, Kevin [Williamson] and I came up with our end-plan, sitting in the mall lobby of the W Midtown in Atlanta on a Sunday, early in Season 2. I think we were trying to write Episode 7, and we were tired and stressed, and we talked about the last character moments of the show. We both started to cry, in the middle of the mall, and just felt like that was right. So, assuming that he and I are lucky enough to survive into Season 20, then we know how we want it to end.
The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursday nights on The CW.